concrete trenches
sometimes more feet than shoes.

Saturday, August 30, 2003  

Civilisation (how they spell it here)

London. Underground trains. The smell of pee.

Ah, it's nice to feel at home.

| posted by christopher | 4:32 PM

Monday, August 25, 2003  

Out with a whimper

Well, we leave Edinburgh tomorrow. I think we're heading to Oban next, but I don't know. The plans are up to BG's parents, and I'll find out tonight. To recap the Fringe Experience, here's a best/worst list:

Best Show: The Argument- unbelievable, really. Some of the best theathre I've seen in years.

Worst Show: The Pugilist Specalist - pretentious American crap that the Scots fawned over. Shite.

Best Food: Kooshi's - Indian food, really good.

Worst Food: Never have a deep fried sausage. Ever.

Best People: The staff of the theatre where we performed. Kids, but lovely.

Worst People: The Guy In Front of Us At The Argument. He shushed BG when she laughed. She said, after a beat, "No!"

Best Drink that isn't Scotch: Irn Bru. Soda with Iron in it. Love these people.

Worst Drink: I had a coffee that tasted like it was filtered through an old sock.

Best Sunday: I played golf on a three-hundred year old course. What did you do yesterday?

I have to go get laundry and head back to the dirty house. One more night of sleeping on the floor. Yahoo. Internet access will be sketchy over the next few days, and I couldn't be happier.

Bye for now, back later.

| posted by christopher | 11:44 AM

Friday, August 22, 2003  

Five to midnight

The light is beginning to appear at the end of the tunnel. Morale is pretty low amongst the cast. This morning they were discussing which play we dislike doing more, the evening show or the kids show. I was the cheerleader of the session, remarkably.

BG's parents got into town yesterday, and she and I spent a couple of hours tooling round the Royal Mile with Mama BG. We were looking at sweaters for Mama BG to buy for BG for her birthday last Sunday.

Shop one -

BG: This is a girls shop you know.

Sly: I'm secure in my masculinity.

Shop two -

Sly: Want to buy a Diana Spencer Memorial plaid skirt? It's mohair!

BG: You need to leave now, I'm not so sure of your masculinity anymore.

| posted by christopher | 10:35 AM

Thursday, August 21, 2003  

Eight minutes of internet time left

BG and I are off to catch a show. I promised myself that I'd post my best of / worst of list for this experience, but ended up reading other stuff instead of writing my own.

I did post a review of one of the shows here. Total shit-bag American show that the Brits seem to lurve and I can't understand why. BG read it, and pointed out that I'd forgotten the "p" from "psudo." I think your critical cashe is crushed when you can't spell all your words.

| posted by christopher | 8:33 AM

Tuesday, August 19, 2003  

Doomed to repeat

Last night I blew up at the little girl who is the "musical director" of the show. She's so young, and so ill equipped to do this and perhaps didn't entirely deserve the tirade, but out it came anyway. Later, BG asked me where all this anger comes from. "I'm worried about you," she said.


I don't really know from whence it comes. I like to think I have a low tolerance for bullshit, especially in the theatre, but that's not it. I like to think I do not suffer fools, but that's not right either. Less flattering, I like to think I get upset when I don't believe I'm given the "respect" someone who's more experienced than those surrounding me, but I don't believe that answers the question either. Not to get all Freudian on your ass, but I think the issue goes back. Way back.

(This is where we cue the Wayne's World flashback effect.)

I grew up in a large family, and was more or less overlooked as a kid. Fourth of five, and the last boy, I was quiet and not really prone to trouble. Often, though, I had no voice in anything that happened. My elder brothers got the say because of the chronological dynamic of a big family. There was no way for me to stand out, and I often felt like I was marginalized. I spent more than a few hours seething at my invisibility. Occasionally the only way I was ever seen was when my temper flared, which was of course frowned upon by the parents.

But we move on, don't we. We go to school, or move out, get friends, get our own lives and everything is different and we leave the old stuff behind. Except we don't. Now I feel ignored or marginalized and the same seething bubbles up, and I lay awake wondering who I'm mad at and why.


On the list of things I love about Edinburgh is the sign across the street related to the improvements to the housing project that says "Dumbiedykes - looking up."

| posted by christopher | 10:08 AM

Monday, August 18, 2003  

Say Cheese

The last week is nigh upon us. Thank freakin' gawd. I don't know how much more of this hippy-dippy mediocrity inspired gag fest I can stand. The Boneheads in charge want to 1) take pictures and 2) make a video of the show.

OK. What in the bloody hell are you going to do with pictures in the last week of the festival!? Maybe we could have some press if there were interesting images to give the paper. Waste waste waste! Secondly, the last thing I want is for this show to be perserved in any way shape or form. I was happy in the thought that it would fade into ephemera forever. But no, they want to make a video tape.

My only consolation is that the lights are never bright enough for any of this crap to be trapped on film.

| posted by christopher | 9:25 AM

Saturday, August 16, 2003  

A New Form

I just saw a fucking amazing production of The Seagull at the Edinburgh International Festival. The International Festival, for those scoring at home, is the thing around which the "Fringe" developed. It seems nine companies weren't allowed to join the elete ranks of the Festival, and they produced their own fringe festival at the same time. Thus, here we are.

Gorgeous. Just stunning. The final fade of the lights had me in tears. Can't describe, must process, but if anything I do on stage could come halfway close to being that good, so help me . . . it may be enough.

Plus, we got rush tickets that cost £5 each. It is a crime against humanity that my production will cost you £9.

P.S. I'm in an internet cafe with the same flat screen terminal set-up as the gigantic internet cafe in Times Square. A little slice of home...

| posted by christopher | 12:52 PM

Friday, August 15, 2003  

Be Safe

Yikes! My little summer vacation problems don't seem so bad suddenly. At least I have power. And, of course, the first thought in my mind was that some looney bird blew up something that caused the lights to go out. A little part of me kinda wishes he could see Times Square in total blackness or see the stars in Queens, but of course blackouts are, well, bad.

Stay well, NY, I want you to be in one piece when I get home.

| posted by christopher | 11:37 AM

Thursday, August 14, 2003  

Oh, the drama

We hit the halfway mark yesterday, apparently. How utterly tragic. I can't believe I have as much of this shit ahead of me as I do behind me. What did I do? Did I offend some god in some way that now I am cursed so?

Yesterday was a particularly bad day, finding me in a particularly bad mood.

Perhaps it would be better if we were playing to crowds over twenty.

| posted by christopher | 11:01 AM

Monday, August 11, 2003  

Twenty minutes of commercials before the film

Had most of the day off yesterday, except for the twenty minutes performing in a tent for Fringe Sunday. The Meadows was filled with tents, food vendors, and theatre hopefulls passing out their flyers. One of our shows got a four star review from Three Weeks, a festival review rag. Will that translate into box office? My guess, no. I did pass out a bunch of two for one flyers, though. After posting and a few more minutes of an internet fix, BG and I are off to flyer in Edinburgh's gay district. If we can find it.

Also, saw Pirates of the Caribbean yesterday evening. BG says Mr. Depp is her other boyfriend, but she may have to fight me for him.

| posted by christopher | 9:23 AM

Saturday, August 09, 2003  

Theatre for two

Twice now we've done the kid's show for an audience of two. Today we almost cancelled when at house open time there were no patrons at all. Alas, two straggled in with their toe head in tow, and we put on a show for 'em.

Somehow, the lack of audience has become our fault. We're not doing enough to sell the show, we're not busting our humps enough, we need to get out on the street and prostitute ourselves so that our producers don't lose their shirts on this deal. If the show were better, maybe it would be easier.

My verdict: you pay yer money, you takes yer chances. I'm going into debt for this chance to do a show with my girl, thank you very much, so yeah I sympathize and all, but I want to get something out of this trip besides vocal nodes. So you may pardon me if my flyering isn't up to your standards. It's your mess, you busk on High Street. I have to do a show tonight.

| posted by christopher | 9:33 AM

Friday, August 08, 2003  

Climb ev'ry mountain

BG and I climbed to the top of Arthur's Seat yesterday. There's an extinct volcano in the missle of the town, with tall basalt cliffs and paths. Arthur's Seat is the highest point of the mountain, at about 850ft. Outstanding views, but damn is it a steep climb.

Our plan was to go up one side, and then go down another to the little hamlet on the other side, but we couldn't figure out how to get there. This lovely couple in their late 60's tried to explain, and when they discovered we weren't in a car, said "We'll just hop in and we'll give you a lift now, won't we."

At the base of the mountain there's one of the oldest pubs in Scotland. Well, nearly every pub is the "oldest in Scotland," but near it there was a plaque that seemed all legit, saying "on this spot has been an Inn since the 1400's." We each had a pint.

The show is no better. It's made worse by the fact that our avarage audience numbers about seven people. If a show falls in the theatre, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a flopping sound?

| posted by christopher | 9:30 AM

Wednesday, August 06, 2003  

Giving up and giving in

Complain complain complain. It's all I seem to do lately. Blah blah blah. The shows are poop, blah blah blah, I can't change it or help it, blah blah blah. Bigger questions are beginning to creep into my thoughts. Was this a gigantic waste of time? I'm going into debt to take this little British jaunt; was it worth it? Sometimes the stress and strain of the whole endevour is causing BG and I to carp at each other.

So, we've agreed to take it a little easy, try to be each other's pillars, and get out of it all we can for ourselves. Two and a half weeks to go, and then we're on our own galavanting all across this island nation.

| posted by christopher | 9:23 AM

Monday, August 04, 2003  

I know the feeling

Twice now someone has found my page by Googling "forced sodomy."

Once the anger tap gets flowing, it's hard to turn it off. In the spirit of seeing my scotch glass as half full, I will now list all the things that have been fun/nice/good about Edinburgh thus far.

* My girl is here, and we've made the sweet Scottish love.

* More than once.

* The scotch is cheap.

* I've seen a couple of funny shows.

* The sun is shining today, for the first time.

* Edinburgh is a beautiful city; old, moody, and utterly stunning. The old part of the city looks like some crazed Victorian lunitic could pop out from a misty close at any moment. It is no wonder Robert Lewis Stevenson wrote the stories he did.

* After a dose of internet, BG and I are headed to a show where we are going to get a free dram of whisky. How's that?

Well, that's about all of that I can stand. Off for the free whiskey.

| posted by christopher | 9:05 AM

Saturday, August 02, 2003  

Grumpy Pants

Teched the other show today. How to describe the room. Um...crappy. It seems that anyone with more than four square feet (metres) of space and a couple of powerful flashlights (torches) can make a fringe venue. I was hoping for some kind of artistic booster shot while here, something that gave my can do pioneer spirit a kick in the nickers. But instead, I feel like there's no hope, and that too many stupid people live in my world. When did having a low budget become an excuse for doing shitty work, or for not trying harder?

| posted by christopher | 10:21 AM
what's past
what's to read
what's news